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Pandemic will be with us until EVERYONE on earth given Covid-19 vaccine, says Merkel after G7 summit

Pandemic will be with us until EVERYONE on earth given Covid-19 vaccine, says Merkel after G7 summit
The coronavirus pandemic can only be considered beaten once everyone in the world has been immunized against Covid-19, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after she'd met with the G7 leaders at a virtual summit on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Merkel said she had stressed in her remarks to the group that the "pandemic is not over until all people in the world have been vaccinated," adding: "Everyone must participate."

"The [coronavirus] pandemic in particular has shown how much we are diverging from one another, worldwide."

On Friday the head of the EU's executive body, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the bloc would put up €100 million ($121 million) to fund the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Africa.

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The Commission president said the EU would be helping to "ramp up" manufacturing capacity across the continent under vaccine-licensing agreements, as well as buying equipment and training staff.

The 27-nation bloc has also said it will double its contributions to the vaccine-sharing Covax facility, to a billion euro.

Germany, meanwhile, will contribute €1.5 billion to global efforts against the pandemic, and the G7 as a whole will contribute €10.3 billion, some of which will go towards Covax.

Covax is the World Health Organization (WHO)-backed initiative to try and ensure equitable access to a vaccine between the world's more developed economies and poorer nations.

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On Thursday, the WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for vaccine-producing countries to donate jabs to Covax, rather than act individually.

The current global divide over access to jabs means that some poorer countries are still without Covid-19 vaccines, while others, including Canada, the UK, US, Australia and those in the EU have ordered more doses then they technically require.

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